The county was good enough to respond to the MLS request for our members to be more educated about the new Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance which goes into effect 9/13/18. I am sharing some highlights from my notes here below but you can click here for a direct link to the handout we received at the meeting or you can go to the county website by clicking here to access the county website section that applies to ADU's here and in other locations in the county. If you are considering constructing or creating an ADU on your property, I highly recommend scheduling a "pre application consultation". You can find out if your project will fit within the parameters of the ordinance and what the fees will be before you spend the time on an actual application for a permit and engage contractors etc. The phone number to call is on the county website on the link above or here (

Some things I noted during the talk: 

  • The ADU needs to be on the same lot as the subject main dwelling. So for instance, if you own two contiguous lots, you can't put the ADU on the vacant adjacent parcel (unless Special Problems area, see below). 
  • ADU's are designed for residential zoned parcels but there are exemptions for AG1 and AGII with different rules. 
  • There are three main types. ADU's created within the existing structure, created partially within an existing structure plus square footage added and detached ADU's. Each has its own set of rules which do differ. 
  • ADU's much be totally self contained complete mini homes i.e. full kitchen, full bathroom, water, sewage, power, own front door or access. 
  • Minimum 300 square feet. Maximum up to 8% of net lot area up to 1200 square feet. Maximum 16 foot height. 
  • If less than 2 residential acres, ADU can not be any closer to the street than the main residence. 2 to 20 acres 100 foot setbacks and no closer to the street than main residence. Over 20 acres these set backs do not apply but there will be other restrictions. 
  • Creation of parking spaces is not always required (see handout for the circumstances where it is). For instance, proximity to public transit, if creating a detached new building or if converting an existing garage space all play into whether parking will have to be created. 
  • No short term rentals. Rentals can only be for 30 days or more. 
  • The ADU can not be sold separately from the main house and parcel. 
  • In Special Problems Areas (Los Olivos, Ballard, Los Alamos), separate unit ADU's are not allowed UNLESS you happen to own the vacant parcel next door. In that case, an ADU may be permitted BUT you need to also meld the two parcels into one. This means that almost nobody in a Special Problems Area, with a few exceptions, will be able or want to qualify. 
  • The question was asked if a homeowner would need to expand their septic tank if more bedrooms were added in creating the ADU. This was an excellent question but the county folks at our meeting did not know the answer to it. My assumption is yes but its definitely something to ask during your pre application consultation. 
  • Fire and sewage plans must be approved for the ADU. 
  • The county has 120 days, from application submission, to approve or disapprove the application. You can appeal a negative decision if converting existing space but not on zoning decisions. 
  • If you get a permit for a ADU, and then decide you don't want the permit later or want to change the permit into something else (for instance, change from an ADU to a pool house or guest house or legal second unit), you can do that. 
  • There will be permit fees. In addition to that, there will be development impact mitigation fees. Here again, another reason to schedule a pre application consultation so you can decide if the fees are affordable for you (in addition to construction costs). 

There you have it. My notes are just discussion points I jotted down and I'm not an expert. Refer to the handout and county website links for actual language, rules, restrictions and other facts. And like I have said several times, schedule a pre application consultation. It will save you time, money and a lot of headaches. 

My Bad

It was brought to my attention that I had the wrong link for 3437 Tivola yesterday. Click here for the correct link. 

Back on the Market

240 Valley Station Circle, Buellton (4/3 on .07 of an acre) $544,900 This is a foreclosure bank owned property. 

Price Reduction

2389 Alamo Pintado Road, Los Olivos (10+ acres, land only)  Was $1,099,000 with a new price of 925K. Private well and SY Water District meter on site. 

Under Contract

3578 Pine Street, Santa Ynez (3/2 + 1/1 on .23 of an acre) 795K This is a listing in my own inventory and one of a kind for sure. Lots of ways to make this property work or kick out some income. 


609 Central Avenue 3, Buellton (3/3 on .04 of an acre) Listed at 410K and sold final for 403K. Just under 1300 square feet so these homes are a pretty good value. Attached garages too. Buellton delivers again on more bang for your real estate buck. Original price 442K with 179 days on market. HOA in here is $226 per month. 


1725 Calzada Avenue, Santa Ynez (3/3 on 4.42 acres)  Listed at $1,429,000 and sold final for $1,300,000 with 129 days on market. 

**Click on each hyperlink to see the listing office related to each property. Property links may not open if you are using Internet Explorer as your browser. Transactions noted here were completed by myself and other Realtors. I clearly identify those that I participated in. The hyperlink to each listing shows the listing office name if you would like to contact them directly. If you aren't already, please ask to be on my Daily Real Estate Update email list to receive the complete blog post with pics and aerials sent to you daily via email versus you having to remember to check my website or Facebook.  Due to recent copyright issues, pics only appear on the email version. The identity of those on my list is not shared and I don't spam anyone. My daily updates are not a complete list of everything that happened today but instead events the general reader might find interesting or items you need to know to make good decisions. Readers should consult other venues of information gathering to find out more or to complete their information gathering efforts but this is a great place to start and I write every day Monday through Friday letting you know what I know. 

Sharon Currie | Realtor  DRE#01357602

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services BRE#01317331

Physical: 2933 San Marcos Ave #102, Los Olivos

Mailing: P O Box 778 Los Olivos CA 93441
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